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Bizarro world

The Dems, in their turn, acknowledged the pressure that their Republican colleagues faced. Landrum Taylor thanked the Republicans for supporting expansion, despite the “extraordinary pressures” that members of their own party exerted, as well as her Democratic colleagues who reached across the aisle, and the governor for her leadership. “Her leadership in crafting and passing this historic legislation was certainly challenged.

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A coup was on the table

Brewer also candidly admitted that she and her allies explored the option of ousting legislative leaders in order to pass her Medicaid expansion plan. At the impromptu media briefing, Brewer confirmed she and her allies in the Legislature crafted a plan to remove Biggs and Tobin as leaders.

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Medicaid backlash

Goodale last week hinted to our reporter that she would vote for the governor’s Medicaid expansion plan, and yesterday she posted on her Facebook page that she has been receiving threats because of her support for the proposal that, she wrote, “provide[s] health care [for] people who cannot afford health care as they earn under $14,000 a year and save[s] our hospitals [and] medical staffs.”

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What, me lobby?

Horne spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham disputed Republic columnist Laurie Roberts’ assertion that the AG’s lobbyists swung into action to lobby against H2305 (initiatives; filings; circulators) over its retroactivity clause, which would allow the secretary of state’s office to send Horne’s campaign finance case directly to the Maricopa County attorney.

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Anti-referendum tactics

One political consultant aligned with the Medicaid expansion effort said there may be a way for expansion proponents to throw up some roadblocks to the referendum effort by marginalizing the groups that organize signature-gathering efforts. There are only a handful of firms in Arizona that specialize in gathering signatures, and the source said it is theoretically possible to sideline them on the referendum if expansion proponents bring them on to the payroll.

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LaFaro to Tobin: At least you tried

Maricopa County GOP chairman AJ LaFaro told our reporter today he’s disappointed that Tobin has given up the fight on Medicaid expansion. He said there’s still some time to press on, since neither the budget package nor Medicaid expansion has ...

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Budget bills are on the move

The end of the expansion debate at the Capitol – and therefore of the 2013 session – might have finally arrived. Multiple sources told our reporter today that Tobin has given up on his efforts to amend the Medicaid expansion language by inserting transparency and accountability provisions and instead, will let it go to the floor and vote no. “He told the governor: ‘You win’,” a source said, adding that the speaker is “not happy about it.”

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Watch out for demon sheep

Montenegro today (June 3) announced a secretary of state exploratory campaign committee team replete with big names that will resonate in national GOP circles. The team includes media consultant Fred Davis, who is well-known for TV ads, such as McCain’s “dang fence” ad, Quayle’s commercial declaring Obama as the worst president in US history, and 2010 Delaware US Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell’s “I’m not a witch” commercial.

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